Description of the artwork «Dutch girl at Breakfast»
"Dutch girl at Breakfast" — a personal ode to Jean-Etienne Lyotard Golden age of Dutch painting. The Swiss artist has created work in the style of the Dutch masters of the XVII century, around 1756, during his stay in the Netherlands. Almost 20 years later it was acquired by William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessboro, a great friend and patron of the painter. The descendants of the aristocrat passed the painting down from generation to generation in the course of 240 years. At the time of sale in 2016 it was the only genre scene Lyotard, painted in oil, which remained in private hands.
The painting exudes the same atmosphere of peace and tranquility that "Thrush" Jan Vermeer. In the modest interior, a young woman sits at a small table. She carefully opens the tap of silver over porcelain coffee pot Cup. It's not the maid, however, she is dressed in a modest dress taupe and blue flowers and cream apron. The girl's hair hidden under a simple white cap with brown ribbon.
Floor is covered with a straw Mat, wall decorates the Church interior – Dutch painting of the XVII century. The top is slightly tilted so that the artist could demonstrate his skill in transmitting his blue polished surface, lacquered red plane of the tray, shiny silver and matte porcelain.
Lyotard admired the old Dutch, such as Jan van Hasum,Gerrit Dou and Gerard Ter Borch and this work may have been conceived as an imitation of them. The fact that the picture is painted on canvas, very unusual for the creativity of the Swiss, who preferred the pastels and paper. While the details of the interior (a table, chair and foot warmer) meet the Dutch fashion 1740s- 1750-ies, and elements of a coffee service (a silver coffee pot on three legs, a silver milk-jug, and especially Chinese porcelain cups with saucers) appear in many well-known genre scenes Lyotard.
As there are no records about the customer this picture is likely Liotard wrote it for reflections or my own pleasure. And the heroine, and the theme itself makes this work with the most famous work of the artist – pastels "Lovely chocolate". The latter was written in Vienna around 1744 m- 1745 and shortly thereafter sold the box Francesco Algarotti. Now it is the Gallery of old masters in Dresden.
"Dutch girl at Breakfast," Liotard tried to sell during the exhibition in his London flat in 1773, along with his other works and the works of old Dutch. Sale failed, and in April of the following year, the artist decided to send paintings to auction at Christie's. There "Dutch woman pouring coffee" as it was called by the author himself and bought the already mentioned 2nd Earl of Bessboro. Over a lifetime, aristocrat gathered more than 70 creations Lyotard. Their number includes the famous "Breakfast" (Le Déjeuner Lavergne), in which the connoisseur has paid a huge sum of 200 guineas – the largest remuneration received by the artist during his career.
Nearly two and a half centuries, "the Girl at the Breakfast table" was kept in the family of the count, while in 2016 were auctioned at Sotheby's. Canvas purchased by the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam for nearly 5.2 million euros.
As in the works of the great Dutch genre painters of the XVII century, such as Gabriel Metso and Jan Vermeer that was so admired by Liotard, the real theme of his paintings is a quiet contemplation of the transitions of color and play of light on different textures, in a very personal opinion, which goes beyond a simple genre.